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Classical - Released March 6, 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
After recording Rachmaninov's 24 Preludes and a recital dedicated to Claude Debussy for his new publisher harmonia mundi, pianist Nikolai Lugansky extends his repertoire even further with a monographic album dedicated solely to César Franck. The list of piano works by this organ-playing composer was not very extensive, so Lugansky chose to perform the Prelude, Fugue and Variation Op. 18, and theChorale No. 2 , on the piano, both in the same key. Written specifically for the piano, the two triptychs Prélude, Choral et Fugue and Prélude, Aria et Final are inspired by both Bach and Liszt and had an obvious influence on later French music, particularly with Albéric Magnard (Symphony No. 3) and all the way up to Francis Poulenc (Concerto for organ ). Nikolai Lugansky constructs these pieces like a builder, with unfailing solidity. He brings out the architecture and the projections with power and fullness, while looking for what he calls "a French sound, a beauty of sonority and refined sound without lourdeur". © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released May 22, 2020 | Naxos

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César Franck was a childhood prodigy who gained later renown as an organist and teacher. His compositions received scant attention until the success of Le Chasseur maudit, a symphonic morality tale that vividly portrays the ‘accursed huntsman’ from his defiance of the Sabbath to a dramatic chase and a horrific fate. Les Éolides is infused with Wagnerian colours and depicts the mythological Aeolids as they reawaken nature with their song. Franck’s lushly orchestrated final symphonic poem Psyché expresses the power of love in dreams and a passionate union. © Naxos
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Symphonic Music - Released April 10, 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Some music lovers are familiar with Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne, Liszt’s symphonic poem based on Victor Hugo. But who knows that, ten years earlier, César Franck was inspired by the same poem? This early piece is recorded here by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France conducted by Mikko Franck. They couple it with the famous Symphony in D minor, dedicated to Henri Duparc and premiered, without much success, in 1889. Even if the score is quite well-known today, in the end it is performed quite rarely, which is a pity, because it really has all the characteristics of a masterpiece: melodic and harmonic inspiration, refined orchestration, variety of mood, an ingenious structure. Two works by Franck ... by Franck! This album marks the beginning of a collaboration between Alpha and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, which will focus on very varied repertories. © Alpha Classics
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Chamber Music - Released March 22, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica
Vlado Perlemuter and Jean Hubeau’s pupil, Michel Dalberto has established himself during a forty year career as a master. And as an ardent defender of French music he launched on Aparté a series dedicated to Debussy, Fauré, Franck and Ravel. “With these recordings of works of four major French composers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, I wish to prove myself worthy of the teachers who used to provide a specific idea of French music made of severity and sensuality, a mixture of rigour and freedom.” After a first opus devoted to Debussy and a second to Fauré (both rewarded with international awards), Michel Dalberto chose the Salle Philharmonique in Liège to record the third part of this collection – that is to say in César Franck’s home town. © Aparté
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Classical - Released March 1, 2010 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording
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Classical - Released January 1, 1955 | Warner Classics

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Produced on May 6, 1954 in the famous Studio 8H in the Rockefeller Center, New York, this is the only stereo recording by Guido Cantelli, a conductor who died in 1956 due to a plane crash in Paris at the age of 36. By that time his career had already taken off and Cantelli's interpretative genius rivalled that of Giulini and Karajan. Like his two colleagues, he had been spotted by Walter Legge, the producer of His Master's Voice, who enabled him to record these records that have gone down in legend. In this recording he conducts the NBC Symphony Orchestra, placed at his disposal by Toscanini who saw in Cantelli his worthy successor. César Franck's Symphony in D minor has always been highly esteemed by conductors around the world. Its monumental side, derived from the symphonic organ and the combined influences of Brahms and Saint-Saëns, whose ”Organ” Symphony is truly contemporary, always produces a guaranteed effect from the moment the power of its irresistible initial crescendo bursts forth to its melodic Final. Cantelli gives a dramatic and boosted version of it without ever weighing down his massive orchestration. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released June 12, 2020 | PentaTone

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The Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg and its Music Director Gustavo Gimeno present a composer portrait of César Franck. The album features the famous Symphony in D Minor, as well as the lesser known, but equally enchanting Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra, with Denis Kozhukhin as soloist. Born in Liege but raised in Paris, Franck synthesized Wagnerism with French musical traditions, resulting in a fine equilibrium between a voluptuous orchestral sound and audacious harmonies on the one hand, and lucidity and graceful charm on the other. While the three-movement symphony follows a from-darkness-to-light trajectory, the delightful Variations oscillate between symphonic poem and miniature piano concerto. © Pentatone
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Classical - Released October 23, 2012 | Fuga Libera

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Exceptional Sound Recording - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released July 11, 2011 | Cypres

Booklet
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Classical - Released October 25, 2019 | Musique en Wallonie

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released September 22, 2012 | Cypres

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Classical - Released December 12, 2014 | RCA Red Seal

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Chamber Music - Released March 23, 2018 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
French music has often been enriched by musicians from abroad who have breathed new life into national styles, like the Florentine Jean-Baptiste Lully (Giovanni-Battista Lulli, in fact) who invented musical tragedy, the grand motet or the French overture; or indeed César Franck, the Liégeois to whom France owes the renewal of the symphony and of chamber music, and who fostered a whole school of young French musicians. César Franck's String Quartet in D Major, one of his last works, is the first great string quartet of the modern French school, and it opened the way for Debussy and Ravel. First performed in 1890 to a very enthusiastic reception at the Société Nationale de Musique, today it is somewhat overlooked by quartet musicians, although no-one can really say why, because it is a strong piece which fits very well as part of the repertoire. Specialising in the Russian repertoire (Shostakovitch, Weinberg) and having performed the débuts of several contemporary works (Greif, Mantovani and Rihm) the Danel Quartet has worked with the Amadeus and Borodin Quartets. Thanks to a very colourful expressive range, and deeply subtle nuances, the musicians of the quartet are able to find here both the elegiac and the tragic within Franck's two works. On the famous Quintet in F Minor, which is more often recorded, Finnish pianist Paavali Jumppanen melds perfectly into the ensemble, as part of a very rewarding dialogue. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released October 23, 2015 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Symphonic Music - Released March 1, 2019 | BR-Klassik

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Russian-born conductor Kyrill Kondraschin conducted the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks for the first time in February 1980. Regrettably, this was to be his only engagement with the orchestra. Despite the favorable reception he was given, and the fact that the orchestra began the process of having Kondraschin succeed famed conductor Rafael Kubelík; Kondraschin died of a heart attack early the next year. This BR Klassik disc is a live performance of his conducting debut with the BRSO, performing Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian Easter Overture and Franck's D minor Symphony. Listeners will immediately recognize just what a loss Kondraschin's death was to the BRSO. Even at the beginning of their relationship, the conductor's strong personality already shines through with his masterful control of tone, dynamics, and pacing. The Rimsky-Korsakov is, as would be expected, big, expansive, and robust. What's a little surprising is that these same characteristics are brought to the Franck. The first movement is driven, focused, and wonderfully tense. The brass section in particular is bold and almost aggressive, blasting its way through the Finale in a way that doesn't seem obnoxious, but exhilarating. Few other performances of this symphony can claim to offer such a vivacious, potent interpretation; Franck's symphony may have had a much warmer reception at its premiere had Kondraschin been at the helm. © TiVo
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released January 21, 2010 | Mirare

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released February 14, 2002 | Naxos

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Classical - Released March 15, 2010 | Arion

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Classical - Released April 1, 2006 | Solstice

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